America is deeply divided, right down to its dining room tables. Social media unfriending is rampant, businesses are refusing to serve people of a certain political party, boycotts are in full effect, while others are rejecting work based upon their religious beliefs. How do we remain in a business as usual frame of mind while terms such as Trump Derangement Syndrome, fake news, snowflake, and racist are vehemently being tossed around?
While at our core, we know it is best to separate business and politics, yet in this era of cell phones and social media, it may not be that easy. Should we follow Maxine Watters’ direction and call folks out, telling them they are not welcome anymore, anywhere? Should we refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex couple? After all, Americans enjoy Amendment I. As business owners, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Yet, just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.
While Maxine Watters is encouraging us to invoke Amendment I, she should revisit the words and encourage people to peaceably assemble, not declare to fellow Americans that they are no longer welcome.
We are fortunate enough to live in a country where free will is allowed, but the versatility of our expressions will forever culminate in the clashing of sides. How do we get past someone’s politics without refusing business? Sometimes we can’t; instead, proceed with the transaction and remember that your true power is at the polls. If casting a ballot is not enough, volunteer for your party or promote it by placing a sign in your front yard. This is your business, so empower it to be the best that it can be; a professional establishment that reflects a positive you. After all, do you really want to align with the infamous bakery that drew a line laced in frosting?
Can we find middle ground? My husband wonders why I listen to conservative talk show stations, as well as far left ones. While there are statements on both sides that cause me to switch between radio stations, I choose to listen to both sides in pursuit of greater understanding, finding commonalities, and better-shaping my own views. If we wish to grow through this presidency, we must acknowledge that there is growth to be had on both sides. America has always been a work in progress and while it is okay to settle into evolved views, we must remain open to changing them as well. Our forefathers had the desire to change and evolve from an erect society, so it is our responsibility as citizens to remain vigilant and not become the erect society they once escaped.